What started out as a trade campaign for ESPNEWS, a 24-hour cable sports network, has evolved into a consumer effort, featuring a sports anti-hero called "The Rick."
Ground Zero, Santa Monica, Calif., built the campaign around a fictional 32-year-old sports fanatic who craves ESPNEWS. In one TV ad (shown here), The Rick tries to reach the late, great Triple Crown winner Secretariat via a Ouija board. Other ads find The Rick showing off such mementos as the University of North Carolina's practice basketball net.
The trade campaign initially targeted cable operators, according to the agency's creative partner Court Crandall. But the positive response convinced ESPN officials to broaden the scope.
The consumer campaign uses the tagline, "ESPNEWS is the official network of The Rick."
The effort includes TV and radio ads, plus print work that breaks next month.